SAN DIEGO -- Andrew Werner's first tour in the Big Leagues has been an unexpected but pleasant experience, both for Werner and for the club. Werner's seven starts have had mixed results, especially in his last two, but the overall results have been something Werner can take away as a positive when the season comes to a close.
While Werner himself never thought he would be in the Major Leagues this year, his contributions have been valuable, given the number of injuries to Padres pitchers this season.
"It's been great," Werner said. "Obviously, I didn't even dream I'd be here. It started out really well, and I've struggled the last few times out, but I think there's going to be a learning curve. There's a lot of stuff that guys can do up here that you don't see in the Minors. "
Padres manager Bud Black has been impressed with what he has seen from Werner, particularly given that Werner was not recognized externally as a prospect before getting the call to the Big Leagues.
"The thing about Andrew [is] what a showing [we got] from a guy who's name wasn't bandied about a lot," Black said. "As the season grew, when you dug a little deeper into what this guy's all about, what he's doing here makes sense based on what all the evaluators thought about him."
Werner has taken advantage of the opportunity to learn from other pitchers on the team as well. What he mentioned most was learning about preparation.
"A lot about going about your business, seeing guys like Clayton Richard and [Eric] Stults, they've been around for a while," Werner said. "In terms of on the field, it's the same game, but things can go bad real quick. There's not a lot of room for error up here. Going about my business and how to pitch [to] guys, those are the biggest things I've learned."
In Werner's seven starts, he has gone 2-3 with a 4.78 ERA. He will get one more start, the final game of the season on Wednesday in Milwaukee, to leave a lasting impression. To hear Black tell it, though, Werner already has made a positive one.
"He throws pitches for strikes, doesn't back down, doesn't scare off," Black said. "His fastball has some sink when it's down. He's not afraid to throw it behind in the count. His first four starts were extremely solid. Like anything, there are going to be some ups and downs, like there have been in his last couple of outings. I think he has shown very well for a rookie pitcher with seven Major League starts."